Doug Carr - 2024 Business Aviation Safety Symposium (BASS)

May 8, 2024

The FAA’s new mandate for safety management systems (SMS), which was in focus at the Flight Safety Foundation’s recent Business Aviation Safety Symposium (BASS), expands the existing Part 5 SMS requirements to apply to all Part 135 operators, certain Part 21 certificate holders and §91.147 air tour operators.

NBAA is a long-time supporter of voluntary implementation of SMS and advocated strongly for scalability as a core component of the agency’s effort. NBAA Senior Vice President of Safety, Security, Sustainability and International Affairs Doug Carr shared that the FAA received nearly 200 individual comments on the proposed rule, which included solid representation of the business aviation community. Read NBAA’s comments about new mandate.

“Some of our biggest concerns were scalability and timing. How much time will we have to implement this rule and how is the FAA is going to effectively scale this for the biggest of the big – large, multi-national multi-jet operations to a single pilot, single aircraft operation carrying cargo in Alaska?” Carr said. “One size doesn’t fit all.”

The final rule did take into account some of industry’s feedback. For example, the smallest operations – essentially one-person operations – will be exempt from portions of Part 5 that assume the operation employs multiple people.

“Additionally, the FAA provided 36 months for the industry to come into compliance with Part 5,” Carr added. “That is going to help give the industry time to review the rule, identify needed changes and develop a workable solution to Part 5.”

Attendees were encouraged to begin exploring SMS implementation, including considering industry safety standards and resources. NBAA’s Safety Manager Certificate Program, for example, provides participants with knowledge and skills to effectively manage their organization’s safety management efforts.

“We will continue to work with the FAA over the next three years to understand where we have issues, where we have compliance challenges, and we would really appreciate your feedback,” Carr added.